Monday, May 23, 2011

The triathlon

Yesterday was the big day.  I was about 10 minutes slower than my goal.  My goal didn't include transitions, which I need to get much better at.  The swim went better than what I thought it would, I finished with a time of 12:51.  I didn't get kicked in the face, although I did take one to the chest.  I was in the thick of things battling it out with everyone else up to the first turn.  After that turn, it was like I was swimming all by myself, which was nice.  I don't know if I passed anyone or not, I was just swimming.  I was gassed though coming out of the water.  It was all I could do to manage a slight jog up the hill to the transition. 

T1 was a little rough, I spent almost 3 minutes trying to get myself ready to head out on the bike course.  It was a cluster.

I didn't do as well on the bike section as I would have liked.  I don't know what my problem was, but I couldn't climb hills to save my life.  If there was one thing I knew going into the race that was going to be my strong suit, it was hill climbing.  Where I really caught up to people was on my incredibly fast downhills.  As the bike section wore on, the more tired I got mentally and I started to fall.  I fell at least 6 times.  Which cost me a lot of time.  One of the times I landed on my handlebar, which has left a nice bruise in the middle of my chest. Bike was 01:07:01

T2 was better, but still slower than what I thought it was.  The speed laces were a huge help though with the bike and running shoes.

Then came the run, my ending pace was faster than what I thought it would be.  I came in with a pace sub 10 minutes per mile.  It was still a huge disappointment because I had to walk portions of the run.  Part of my problem was over-hydrating on the bike and having a whole bunch of liquid sloshing around in my stomach.  I think I should have downed a gu towards the end of the bike, because it felt like I had no energy left in my legs.  Although I did manage to crank out a nice sprint to the finish.  Run time was 38:29


Here are some post race pics where I was kind of hating life.

Will I do another one?  Immediately after the race, my answer was an emphatic no.  A day after, and I'm giving it consideration.  Although, it is kind of nice today to not have to train.  The link below is the results to the actual race.  I finished in the bottom 50%, 89 out of 141.  We can't all be winners, but I'm glad I can say I did this if I never do another triathlon again.

Triathlon results


  1. You fell off your bike 6 times? Did I read that right? T1 killed you, but it's ok. Look at it as a learning experience.

    Marty, let's stop and consider what you just accomplished: Correct me if I'm wrong but prior to 2010 you had spent the past ten or so years sitting on the couch. Somewhere around 2010 Tony talked you into do a big fat bike ride and you signed on to the idea. So you bought a new bike and got all jacked up about riding again. On the right track so far? Then along the way you decided a little more fitness in your life might be a nice direction to take so you set your sights on finishing a triathlon. So you picked one, a good one, but a pretty difficult one to boot. From that point on the die was cast...

    You made the decision to change (get off the couch) and it seems like you did that pretty easily and had a lot of fun in the process. For the record, most people go from couch to 5K but you decided to crank it up several hundred notches and go couch to triathlete. That's impressive!

    I don't have stats but I'm guessing you've put yourself in a fairly elite club just being a tri finisher. I'm guessing a conservative figure may be 1 in 1000 Americans train for and finishes a tri. I know you didn't meet the specific race goals you set for yourself, but I think it is safe to say you were swinging for the fences. I applaud you for that as I greatly admire the spirit. Either way, your accomplishments should not be overlooked. The bottom line is that you set a goal, trained for it, stuck it out and finished. That takes dedication and diligence. Good job.

    I'm not exactly sure who you have shared your "quest" with, but am pretty certain that you have inspired others to pursue new challenges in life. That's the beauty of it all. I've been following your plights with a close eye and I can say in the past year you have truly inspired me to train and race harder. It's great seeing friends regain control of their fitness. I'm going to get better and some day hopefully we can race side by side...just like old times.

    I think you had a respectable race that you should be proud of. Don't forget that you were riding a rigid bike...that's gotta count for something.

  2. Thanks, Matt. I know the story, because I lived it and put it into words. I hadn't really thought of the magnitude of what I was trying to accomplish in under a year's time.

    In all of my training I never thought the rigidity of my bike made any difference, but there were a few times yesterday where one of those power suckers on the front of my bike would have been nice.

    Yes, you read it right. I'm pretty sure I fell 6 times. I'm pretty sure it had everything to do with mental fatigue. Matt while you are sitting on your azz, you should take a look at the book "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. He talks about how our mind starts shutting things down the higher our heart rate gets. I really think that has a lot to do with my crashing. I've spent a lot of time pondering that during my training ride crashes.

    We definitely are going to race side by side one of these days.

  3. I haven't known Martin for very long, (although he is about to be stuck with us as family forever--he will be my BIL soon), I am one who has been impressed and inspired. I have a long road ahead of me, and although I don't see myself in a triathlon anytime soon, I am getting up and moving more than I have in at least 10 years.

    Excited to see what Martin does next! :)

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  5. I think it all started with a game of ladderball last year at the canoe trip where you got skunked by me and had to pay the price. That was hilarious. I hope we turn those hi-jinks into some more physical challenges in the future.
    Tony and I are planning a mountain bike ride up at the pine this year on Thursday so you should think about it if you're on again this year.
    I felt exactly like you did about 6 years ago when I did my first sprint tri. My next one did come, but not til 3 years later. Now I've done about 10 sprints, 2 OD's, and I only want more. It's more of a lifestyle choice for me. Especially when I see all the fat bastards doing it faster than me.

    I don't know about all those falls and mental fatigue. I rode custer about 50 times in my life and don't think I fell 6 times. Anyway, let's ride when I get home.

  6. oh yeah and you're swim is about 3 minutes faster than mine. Nice work.

  7. Nice job Marty! I am very impressed!

  8. Yeah, Marty, don't sell yourself short. Personally being there to see you do this was fancy. I could tell you were gassed, but I loved every minute of yelling for you and running around the transitions taking pictures. Your sprint to the finish was awesome.

    When your dad first got there he was his typical self, joking with you, telling you about how all these girls were going to kick your butt...etc. Glad you told him you don't need those negative thoughts. I talked him down a bit too after that because I could tell you were pretty nervous. While you were out there busting your tail, we had some good talks, and deep down (if he never said it to you) he was pretty damn proud of you for doing this.

    Watching all this go down may have inspired me to eventually try this myself - or at least the atmosphere was enough to get me pumped about signing up to do some official races. You did great and most of all you learned a ton just by doing this one. You'll do more, I know you will - because you have so much more to gain immediately right out of the gates.